shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


just one of my addictions (UPDATED)

Mexican Coke, that is, and I'm not alone. The Chicago Tribune explores the phenom:

Up and down Chicago's West 26th Street, where ranchera music thumps and street vendors hawk pork rinds called chicharrones from gallon pickle jars, residents take nearly as much pride in their imported Coca-Cola as they do in flying red, white and green national flags.

The neighborhood is one of the nation's largest consumers of Mexican Coke, a sweeter - some say - version of the American soft drink shipped north in heavy glass bottles. The U.S. Coca-Cola Co., which does not make money from Mexican Coke, has taken notice and is trying to win over soda pop drinkers in this economically bustling area known to locals as la Villita.

The import typically costs a little more than U.S. Coke, but residents are willing to pay extra to be reminded of home.

"It has a way different taste, better than American Coke," said Tomas Rios, a customer at La Chiquita canteen. He tossed the straw the waitress gave him and gulped down half the bottle.

Christopher and I always assumed that it was because of the lack of evil, evil, evil high fructose corn syrup and it turns out we're probably right:

Some describe it as sweeter - closer to Pepsi than American Coke - because it uses cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, the sweetener found in the domestic recipe, said Coke spokesman Mart Martin.

It decidedly does not taste like Pepsi. (Yuck.) The bottle has other nostalgic benefit, even for my un-Mexican, smaller-than-smalltown roots. My parents used to crush up penicillin in a spoon of Coke when I was sick as a kid and the bottle it came from looked just like Mexican Coke. (I was tough to get to take medicine, much like George the Dog, who has learned he can eat around the treat we hide his pills in and then spit them out. Bleh.)

Sweetie, can we go to La Michoacana for dinner tonight? Please?

UPDATED: It has come to my attention that this article leaves people with the impression one can only get Mexican Coke in the U.S. in big cities. Not so, we can get it at lots of places here in Lexington. So, ha. Also, we didn't go to La Michoacana for dinner even though it serves the best food in the world because I forgot about Saturday afternoon's planned Tour de Taquerias on the bikes. Should be fun. Watch for pictures.


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